New York - Hewlett-Packard put the PC back into PC Expo this week by launching its back to school desktop computer line that features a 1GHz and higher processors and aggressive price points to better compete with Dell and Gateway new pricing initiatives.
The three-PC line start shipping next week and is the first that is part of a new pricing initiative by HP to bring high-end features such as Intel Pentium III 1GHz processors and top-tier graphics cards into the mid-price range, said Mark Bony, HP's Pavilion product manager.
With pricing starting a about $1,100 for the new Pavilion 2950 HP hopes entice customers with a combination of low price and a feature set normally found on its higher-end models, Bony said. The decision to come in so low was in the works prior to Dell and Gateway decision in June to kick-off another PC price war by reducing prices, but did give HP additional impetus to keep costs down, he said.
'We need to be competitive, yet stay profitable, Bony said of the balance HP is trying to strike.
The Pavilion 2950 features HP's super slim tower design and with its $1,099 estimated street price is targeted at students. The PC features the Pentium III 1GHz processor, 128MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive, 10/100 network card, a combination CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive and digital editing software. A wireless keyboard and mouse are included and an optional LCD monitor is available for $799. The 2950 is only selling through CompUSA, but a follow on version, the 2960, will be widely distributed, Bony said.
The step up model is the Pentium 4 1.3GHz powered Pavilion 7960, estimated street price $1,199, ships on July 15 and includes dual CD-RW and DVD-ROM drives, a 60GB hard drive, with 128MB Rambus memory, and a 32MB graphics card, USB and IEEE 1394 ports.
The Pavilion 9895 is top-end model. Now shipping with an $1,899 estimated street price. It has a a 1.7GHz Pentium 4 processor, but is otherwise similar to the 7960.